City of Boroondara is reminding all pool and spa owners that pool safety is their responsibility. 

The majority of drowning incidents occur in backyard swimming pools.  

Safety barriers can be effective in reducing the risk of drowning incidents but evidence suggests that a large number of drowning deaths are the result of barriers that are faulty or non-compliant with Australian standards.

Cr Jim Parke, Mayor of Boroondara is imploring pool and spa owners to be vigilant this summer and to know the laws in relation to pool safety.

“Barriers for swimming pools and spas require regular attention,” said Cr Parke.  “If you’re a pool or spa owner, it’s your responsibility to maintain safety barriers all year round, even if no young children live on your property.”

Cr Parke explained that there are several checks pool owners can follow, including whether gates are self-closing and self-latching. 

Other safety measures include ensuring surrounding safety barriers are rigid and secure and at least 1.2m high, and checking that climbable objects - such as pot plants, furniture or toys - are securely positioned far away, or at least 1.2m from the nearest barrier.  

“Remember that any body of water with a depth of 30cm or more must be surrounded by a safety barrier - this also applies to inflatable pools.”  

Cr Parke also stressed the point that there is no substitute for active adult supervision to keep children safe around water.  

“For toddlers, this means an adult should be within arm’s reach at all times,” Cr Parke said.

Before commencing any pool or spa construction, residents must obtain a building permit, issued by a registered building surveyor.

City of Boroondara offers a barrier inspection service, for a fee to ensure your safety barriers comply with the legal requirements of the Building Interim Regulations 2017.

For further information on pool and spa safety read the Victorian Building Authority’s checklist for owners of pools, spas and safety barriers and contact Council’s Building Services on 9278 4999.  

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